I’ve been meaning to write a post about forgiveness, because I think it’s at heart of what Landmark Education’s programs are about, but I’ve been struggling for the right words to use. I think one valuable thing I took away from the Landmark Forum is that forgiveness doesn’t mean approval–I think many of us are reluctant to forgive something because we think it would mean approving of what happened to us. Anyhow, as I was thinking about this, I came across this extraordinary blog post, which I thought captured it very well, both in terms of the miracles possible in forgiveness, and the opportunities it provides to contribute to others:
I want to share the miracle that occured in my marriage, which I see as creating my purpose on the planet – the way I am making a difference as a contribution. It is a LONG story, but I will give the short version. You can read the longer version someday when the book is finished… seriously!
After being married for almost 10 years, with 2 beautiful children, my husband and I found ourselves staring into the painful abyss of an ugly divorce… that is, until the miracle occured.
Our marriage had taken an ugly turn after I discovered his affairs on our computer, and after this, I “protected” myself by hiring a private investigator, collecting evidence for three excruciating months without being able to “let on” that I knew about it. It was just a horrendous situation. The confrontation was ugly; he didn’t admit to it for a long time, and I was convinced there was no possibility of recovery.
We separated and spent 5 months living apart – doing the whole kid trading routine, while each of us dug in “deep” and did intense individual, couples, and group therapy (12 step recovery for codependency). Even our oldest child went into therapy for a while. As a last ditch attempt to learn to communicate better with each other, my husband and I attended a seminar called the Landmark Forum (I am sure some of you out there are graduates!) and this, combined with all of the learning and growth we had done, created the space for our miracle to show up…
FORGIVENESS. It is not just a thought or an idea… It is not something that just glosses over the pain, or makes you “forget” what happened. It was such a powerful and spiritual experience, I now fully grasp what Jesus was trying to get across to us stubborn folks!!! Forgiveness is a REALM OF BEING. It is a space – a state. One can’t try and forgive. Forgiveness is 100 percent/0 – that means, one is either in a state of forgiveness, or one is not. And, there is nothing wrong if one is not in a state of forgiveness… it just is what it is.
But, the miracles that are possible once forgiveness is present is so powerful, I now am committed to a life in which I am part of spreading this message to everyone I can! My husband and I now have an amazing marriage – one we never could have had if we hadn’t gone through the pain of our past. But now, we know the difference, and we know the cost of going back to the insane behavior each of us used to participate in!
I have developed a project entitled “The Amends Project” (http://www.amendsproject.com/) to further this commitment. It is a totally free, voluntary, anonymous online community, the purpose of which is to share and spread the power of forgiveness around the planet. I am so excited to be a part of the solution for this hurting world…